Lemons are used for numerous health remedies, beauty tricks, and even home hacks. Lemon essential oil and its properties, however, are still quite unknown and understudied. Perhaps because this fruit is so widely available and easy to use, people simply don’t feel the need to look for more concentrated formulas.
What are the benefits of lemon oil?
This essential oil is obtained by cold-pressing the lemon peel, consequently the most nutrient-rich part of the fruit, which is why it can be so beneficial for health.
Lemon essential oil has a higher concentration of nutrients than the fruit itself. In particular, it seems to present a high content of limonene, camphene, β-pinene, sabinene, myrcene, linalool, β -bisabolene, trans-α-Bergamotene, nerol, α-pinene, α-terpinene and neral.
All the main components of lemon oil present anti-inflammatory responses, except for limonene and linalool.
If the issue is internal, you should, nevertheless, contact a professional aromatherapist or a doctor to ask for advice regarding the quantities and how to ingest the oil.
If the problem is on the skin, you should mix it first with a carrier oil, as per usual in aromatherapy, and then apply it on the affected area.
Rich in antioxidants
Lemon oil is rich in antioxidants, which means it can help to prevent early aging signs.
Antioxidants fight off free radicals, components naturally present in the body that attack and damage healthy cells in order to steal part of their molecules. By reducing their occurrence, lemon oil can then avoid this damage and reduce the cell turnover that eventually results in the exhaustion of the skin resources and gives place to wrinkles.
It has a calming effect
Inhaling the aroma of lemon oil can have a calming and soothing effect that aids at relaxing the mind and the body.
The linalool and the nerol in its composition also have a mild sedative effect, that, despite not being enough to induce sleep, can nevertheless reinforce the sense of calm the aroma produces.
It can help to treat coughing fits and cold symptoms
The aroma of lemon essential oil can aid to soothe coughing fits and the mild symptoms of a cold.
It helps by clearing congestion by breaking down the mucus, while the anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial components fight the swelling and the source of the irritation.
To use it, you can simply add a few drops of it to your diffuser or in a steam bath. Smelling the bottle also works. Nevertheless, the most common use of this oil to treat coughing fits is by adding a bit to a handkerchief or a cloth and sniffing on it occasionally throughout the day.
Lemon essential oil is also reported to help improving concentration and to work as a mild stimulant. There isn’t enough information about these benefits to ascertain its efficiency, though.
What is lemon essential oil used for?
Lemon oil can be used in almost every situation where you use lemon or its juice. The only point you need to bear in mind is that you should never apply the oil directly to the skin or ingested without first diluting it.
You can substitute the lemon juice in most home recipes for skin care with this oil and thus benefit from a higher concentration of nutrients.
It can help to whiten the skin, treat acne, fix any discoloration, be it dark or tan spots, and to fight the skin infection causing dandruff. Always dilute the oil in a carrier before using it.
Due to the soothing properties of this oil, it can aid in your fight against stress and general tension your body might be feeling.
In a small 2005 study, the researchers set out to find if the lemon aroma in their office produced any change in the productivity of the 14 students working there. In the end, there was no alteration to their productivity rate, but the subjects did report less exhaustion and more vigor.
Despite its acidity, lemons turn alkaline when they reach the stomach. For this reason, its anti-inflammatory and astringent properties are able to help reduce indigestion, stomachaches and heartburn without worsening the symptoms.
Ingesting lemon oil can suppress the appetite, which in turn supports the consumption of fewer calories.
Furthermore, it also helps to keep your intestines working as a clock by reactivating the digestive system after a good night of sleep.
How to do lemon essential oil at home
The technique to extract the oil from the lemon peel is very simple, but it will require strength and loads of patience.
How to do it:
1. Separate the fruit from the peel completely.
2. Use a mortar and pestle and start pressing down on the peel to release the oil. Remember that the goal is not to mash the peel, just squeeze it hard.
3. Use a sieve or a similar object to pour the juice into a small bottle or other glass recipient and put it in the freezer. The liquid will be a combination of oil and juice at this moment.
4. Check the freezer after a while. The juice will be frozen but the oil won’t. Take the opportunity to pour the oil into the dark glass recipient and you’re done.
Note: Because this oil is as natural as it can be, its properties will begin to decrease with time. To fully benefit from them, try to use it within a span of 6 months.
Can I put lemon oil in water?
Drinking a glass of warm water with a bit of lemon juice to break fast in the morning has by now become a routine for many.
Replacing the lemon juice for a few drops seems then highly more practical and less messy, but the answer is a big no.
As mentioned before, in aromatherapy you always need to mix the essential oils with a carrier as their concentrations are simply too powerful to the point they can be harmful. The carrier helps dilute the oil and reduce its intensity without affecting the properties you are looking for.
Water and oil don’t mix, so you won’t be diluting the oil, you will be ingesting it in its full power, potentially harming your digestive system.
Just keep using your freshly squeezed lemon juice as normal.